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May 7, 2006

Cristie Kerr


DANA GRASSRHODE: Congratulations, you just won the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. With that, Canyon Ranch is also going to give you a complementary stay for two at one of their spas. You had some great putts and saves for par. Talk about your round and winning the tournament.

CRISTIE KERR: The first hole I lost my driveway right. I had to punch a 4 iron hoping to get on the green and it got up there pin high left, and I got it up over the ridge 50 feet and knocked it in somehow. I got the feeling that was going to be kind of my day after that, when you do something magical like that, you know.

But then I parred 2. I had about 10 or 12 feet on two and just 2 putted. Made about a 12 foot putt for par on 6; birdied 7; made a 10 footer on 8; made a good par on 9; almost birdied 10, I almost holed it out from the fairway with an 8 iron. The 11th hole, I made a horrible iron swing into the green and came up way short and then chipped it by about ten feet, 12 feet, and made that for par. Parred 12. 13, I hit a beautiful drive and made about a 20 footer. And then, you know, on 14, I had a putt from about 12 feet, almost made that. On 15, I hit a great drive, great 9 iron, hit my 9 iron too good and got above the hole with a difficult putt, 2 putted. Hit a good 7 iron on the 16th hole to about 20 feet and just hit a good putt, just under read it. On 17, I was dead into between clubs, between sand wedge and a little tiny pitching wedge. We figured it was easier over the green than short, but I was wrong and had a tough up and down and made about a 5 footer for par, really good chip there.

18, with a two shot lead, there's more than one way to skin a cat, as we say. So I had a good drive, just laid up and hit like a 60 yard shot to ten feet behind the hole and hit a good putt, but obviously just needed to 2 putt. I was trying to still make it, and hit kind of spike mark and it kicked up, but I played well, played great at times and didn't play great at times, but I managed to hang in there.

Q. Is there a mode of thought going in trailing by four, do you put pressure on yourself, more aggressiveness?

CRISTIE KERR: You know, you can really only control what is in your control, and I just tried to play a solid round of golf. I knew I was going to have to shoot 5 or 6 under. Again, at times, hit it great; at times didn't, and I was managing my golf game out there.

You know, the putt on 1 was magical and I just kind of knew. I just had a feeling this whole week it was going to be my week, and I just knew that I just had to hang in there and just keep going and applying pressure. You know, that's what happened.

Q. That first hole putt

CRISTIE KERR: It was a very difficult putt, and my caddie said it would have only been about it was perfect speed and line, but I'm still glad it went in because you don't know how far by it would have gone. I guess it doesn't matter anymore. That was one of the best putts under pressure I've hit in a long time, and it went in, unbelievably.

Q. You talked about applying pressure; Angela acknowledged that it's tough to begin a final round with that kind of lead, and she was using you as her leaderboard I think. At what point did you think maybe it began to affect her game?

CRISTIE KERR: Well, I mean, right off the bat when I made that putt on 1, you know, I think it was kind of something that, well, I didn't expect to make it. But it went in and it was like, okay, kind of changed the situation a little bit and the energy of things. I had a difficult 2 putt and she could have made hers and I could have missed mine.

So kind of shook things up right from the get go is, and I just kept going. I managed to even though I didn't feel like I was hitting tremendously well to tighten up my game and get a lot of opportunities for birdie and made the par putts when I had to. And I just kept the pressure going.

The putt on 11 was huge for par, you know, because she had about it could have been a two shot swing there, and I nailed it. You know, I kept my momentum going, and you know, it's just hard to win. She played okay. I think as she gets more and more experience, she's a great player to begin with, she's won before, but today just wasn't her day, and could you clearly see that. You know, I played really well. Hats off to her. She tried 150 percent out there and I could see that. It just wasn't going her way.

Q. Characterize the round. It seemed like a lot of par saves, looking at the birdies obviously, but there was some scrambling involved, too.

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. I've been scrambling all week. I felt I had hit it the best I had hit it all week on Thursday, and since then I've struggled a little bit hear and there.

I've practiced a lot and worked really hard and that's kind of how my week went. I was able to make all those par saves, and winning by two shoots, that's only a half shot each day. So when you grind and you work hard for those par saves, you know, in the end, you look, it's not that much different.

Q. How good does it feel to be the second American winner this year?

CRISTIE KERR: It feels great, just absolutely great, and there's going to be many more. We've got a lot of talented Americans. Everybody out here, it's so competitive out here now, I can't even tell you.

Q. And being the American No. 1 now, obviously Paula got up there last year, but how good does it feel to get your first win?

CRISTIE KERR: It feels absolutely great. It feels very satisfying, all of my hard work paying off, and this is only my third or fourth week; Vegas, Atlanta, this is my fourth week with my new caddie. I feel like we're going to be together a very long time, Jason Gilroyed. He lives actually about a mile from my coach in Palm Springs, so it's good karma I think. He's a tremendous asset to me and I'm glad he came to work for me. I think we make an unbelievable team.

Q. Next week you're defending, so how does it feel to go into next week, are you able to put together a little roll here?

CRISTIE KERR: Absolutely. I'm seeing my coach, Bryan Lebedevitch (ph), on Monday afternoon or whenever he gets here, and hopefully sort out the get the swing feeling a little bit better. I told my caddie, listen, we're going so well, even if it feels awful, just keep producing the results that it's produced. You know, sometimes it goes to show that you it doesn't have to be pretty as long as you can get the job done. But I feel I've still got to go out next week, any win is a good win and you take them when you can.

Q. Is it difficult adjusting to a new caddie?

CRISTIE KERR: It wasn't difficult to adjust to Jason because we have very similar backgrounds and personality. And the people that he's caddied for, comparable game as far as distance and things. We fell right into it right from the beginning second week out, we finished 12th in Vegas our first week, and almost won Atlanta. Last week, I again didn't play very well except for the first round, and this week to win was tremendous. I'm very thankful he came to work for me.

Q. You mentioned the first hole rolling that putt, how magical it felt, was there a point that you felt this was your tournament to win, was it after you had finally got the lead to yourself?

CRISTIE KERR: You know, I don't know really how to explain the whole energy of things but I kind of felt it the whole week. You know, when that putt went in today, I just said, you know what some things are bigger than yourself. You know, that's kind of how it felt out there today.

End of FastScripts.

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